Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The New York Commission on Judicial Conduct discontinued ongoing proceedings against an Elmira judge in light of his resignation from office after 31 years of service.
The judge faced charges that sounds like a fact pattern for a good judicial ethics exam question.
The judge had denied the charges and resigned after a hearing was held.
The complaint alleged that the judge directed an attorney to provide free legal services to a number of traffic defendants including the judge's daughter. The same attorney provided free assistance regarding an insurance issue on behalf of the judge's daughter.
Further, the judge allowed to same daughter (who resided with him) to serve as a trial juror in a criminal case.
Finally, there was the judge's telling of a "sexually graphic joke" at a police event. He described another judge (who he was not on speaking terms with) as a "small claims judge because his genitalia are small."
In his resignation letter, the judge stated that he "tried to maintain a good quality of life in Elmira. I have helped some people and wished I could have helped more." (Mike Frisch)